The Semantic Web: Ain’t No Goin’ Back Now

Title page to Locke's Some Thoughts Concerning...
Image via Wikipedia

I’m slated to deliver a presentation on the semantic web at the League for Innovation’s annual Conference on Information Technology. As a sneak peek at my focus, I’m sharing what I take to be the central questions that educators need to start considering if they expect to be able to adapt to semantic web advancements.  Some of these questions are very difficult to answer; answers swiftly come for others, but at the price of a certain discomfort.  My hope is that these questions force us to examine our assumptions and cherished opinions about how we educate and whether our roles as educators are as enduring as we like to think.

I would really appreciate comments on these questions, especially if you think there are other, or better questions for us to think about.   Of course, knowing something about the semantic web will help contextualize these questions which otherwise may seem a little obtuse.  If you’re an educator, you may want to join the Web 3 Learning Network to discover what you’re missing.

1) The industrial model of pedagogy seems fairly expedient. If it were manageable and assessable, however, would you prefer individualized, personally customized learning paths for your students? Whether you would prefer it or not, do you think your students would prefer it?
2) What do you think a person’s limitations are for self-learning?
3) Do you think that today’s college curricula are suited to prepare students for continuous and accelerating technological advancements? Are you prepared for continuous and accelerating technological advancements? Do you suffer from information overload?
4) Do you believe that, on the whole, college curricula (college programs, majors, courses) encourage the silo-ing of discipline-specific educational content? If so, how would you propose opening content to its fullest scope and power?
5) If content were “un-silo-ed” via personalized learning paths, what would be the basis for establishing an educator’s qualifications? What would be the basis for establishing the value of regional and national accreditation?
6) We normally assume that technology is “just a tool,” one means to our educational ends. If means and end became essentially one thing (i.e., inter-twined, but not causally related), what would your role as an educator be? What would a student’s role be?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.